Sustainability in action

Sustainability Circle Bees STEAG Solar Energy Solutions

SENS staff organise their own bee colonies at the Würzburg location

The STEAG Solar Energy Solutions (SENS) team is growing steadily. However, in spite of all our growth ambitions a dramatic increase of 12,000 members of the team at the Würzburg facility is something you don't see every day. But this was happening a few days ago: on the initiative of the company's own Sustainability Circle 12,000 moved into their new home in front of the company building in Carl-Zeiss-Strasse, and were "welcomed" by a small team.

The project was initiated by the Sustainability Circle, which was founded at the beginning of the year as an interdepartmental, voluntary association of employees who introduce the topic of sustainability into company processes in a variety of ways.

In collaboration with Bee-Rent the idea of keeping our own bees has now been put into practice. The aim is to contribute to the ecological balance of the region. Incidentally, in the two small wooden boxes at the edge of the car park about 20 kilograms of honey are produced in the course of the year and will serve as a small gift for customers and the team.

Professional beekeeper takes care of the bee populations

The service provider takes care of regular checks, preparation for the winter and harvesting the honey. Experienced local beekeeper Matthias Thoma from Bee-Rent manages the project at the Würzburg location, and carries out quality controls up to four times a year. There is also a health check twice annually, as well as supplementary feeding and preparation for the winter. Once a year the honey is centrifuged, processed, checked and finally filled into jars. In this way the well-being of the SENS bee colonies is ensured all the year round.

"It’s particularly important for us to ensure the health of the bees and their growth. That’s why we check in advance exactly where the bees do well. At SENS in Würzburg the colonies have found a suitable new location where they will feel completely at home," says Thoma.

Management proud of employee initiative

SENS CEO André Kremer is also delighted with the 12,000 new members of his team: "I was very pleased about the initiative by our Sustainability Circle, because it shows that we are not only committed to the subject in theory, but also actively put it into practice. I’m therefore proud that at SENS we´re now making our contribution to counteracting the drastic rate of bee mortality."

Good to know: after cattle and pigs, the bee is the third most important farmed animal worldwide. These highly useful pollinators are essential for crop yields, biodiversity and a functioning ecosystem, and they make an important contribution to a balanced diet. In a world without the honeybee, the harvest of 75% of crops would be much smaller. Overall bees thus generate global value of 265 billion euros per year almost unnoticed. All the more reason for SENS to support these very important creatures.

Extinction of bees would have dramatic consequences

As Albert Einstein said, once the bee disappears from the earth mankind has only four more years to live. What at first glance seems drastic can certainly become reality, because in Germany alone half of the approximately 560 species of wild bees are threatened with extinction, since their natural habitat is constantly being destroyed by a range of factors. Given more than 2000 species of native agricultural and wild plants depend on pollination by bees to a level of 80 %, this poses a major challenge for nature.

Picture: Hanna Klüpfel

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